Applying to Study in the Netherlands

Many Dutch universities regularly offer interested students an open house. This is an ideal opportunity to take a closer look at the courses offered on site. In the Netherlands, universities and colleges attach great importance to the fact that the university and students are a good match.

In order to make the route to the university of your choice as easy as possible, the application for studying in the Netherlands is clearly structured and relatively uncomplicated. Applicants register via the Studielink online portal and submit an application for enrollment there. It is even possible to apply to several universities or for different courses of study. Applicants organize semesters abroad and summer sessions directly with the university.

Before students finally submit their application to study in the Netherlands, it makes sense to find out about the necessary documents and deadlines in good time. This means that nothing stands in the way of looking forward to innovative and modern studies in our neighboring country.

Admission requirements for studying in the Netherlands

Each university in the Netherlands sets individually their admission requirements established for studying. The exact academic and linguistic requirements depend primarily on the course of study. As a rule, the (technical) Abitur is sufficient for the application for the first degree. This also applies to shorter study programs such as a semester abroad.

International students often have the opportunity to submit language certificates until shortly before the start of their studies. Most courses are held in Dutch. However, there are numerous English language programs. Language tests directly at the Dutch universities or preparatory language courses before the semester are not uncommon.

Some of the Dutch universities even offer exams in German in the first year of study. During the so-called Propedeuse, the content orientation of the students is in the foreground. The students then develop their language skills at the same time.

An important innovation when applying to study in the Netherlands is the decentralized selection process. Most courses at the Dutch universities are open to admission. However, subjects such as medicine, psychology, physiotherapy or aerospace engineering are particularly popular. In order to counteract the rush, the universities set a numerus fixus every year for such courses, a fixed number of study places. Until recently, universities in the Netherlands were raffling off places for these restricted courses. A selection process has been taking place at the respective Dutch university since 2017.

Procedure for applying to study in the Netherlands

In the course of choosing a university, applicants usually find out about the admission requirements and application deadlines for various courses. The application process for studying in the Netherlands begins with this overview. From September onwards, applications for the following academic year can be submitted at the earliest. However, the exact deadlines vary depending on the university and study program.

Applying to study in the Netherlands is largely online. At Studielink, prospective students upload all the necessary forms and documents and submit up to four applications for enrollment. For a semester abroad or summer sessions, applicants submit their documents and the course choice directly to the Dutch university. It is helpful to plan well in advance when preparing letters of motivation or taking language courses.

For degree programs with no admission, applications for study in the Netherlands are usually possible until July. Those who take part in the selection process submit their applications as early as January. The re-registration usually takes place promptly, so that the concrete preparation for studying in the Netherlands takes shape quickly.

After applying: preparing to study in the Netherlands

In many cases, the preparations for studying in the Netherlands run parallel to the application. Especially for a popular student city like Amsterdam, it is advisable to search for accommodation early because of the long waiting lists.

Due to the tuition fees in the Netherlands, a country located in Europe according to countryvv, applicants should find out about the various financing options at an early stage. These include, for example, BAföG abroad or scholarships, which also cover part of the cost of living.

The Dutch universities also use Studielink to contact the new students. It is therefore important that all personal data such as the postal address are always up to date.

Visa and entry requirements in the Netherlands

As an EU citizen, you do not need a visa or a residence permit for a semester abroad in the Netherlands. Students from these countries need a valid identity card or passport to enter the country. Upon arrival, they register with the local community within five days.

Applying to Study in the Netherlands